Although Razer may be known for its impressive line of gaming mice (including Razer Basilisk V2 and Deathadder V2), they are still one of the most well-known brands in gaming when it comes to headphones, mouse pads and keyboards.
In today's article, we will take a closer look at one of their most popular gaming headsets, the Razer Kraken Championship Edition headset. We will call it Kraken TE, it has a variety of cool features, including THX surround sound, game/chat balance control, retractable microphone, etc.
Let's take a look at the speed of the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition and see how it compares with competitively priced alternatives in terms of value, performance, comfort and sound. We will answer some of the major questions surrounding Razer headphones and conclude whether we think these headphones are worth your consideration and money. Chapter
In this case, don't waste any more time, get straight to the point!
Below we describe the main specifications of the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition gaming headset.
In the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition box, we see:
Setting up the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition headphones is certainly not as easy as the Razer Kraken X we recently reviewed. With the addition of a feature-rich USB dongle, you can't just plug in the headset and start headshot shooting. To fully exploit the potential of this headset, a few additional steps are necessary.
For users who need plug and play, they can ditch the USB dongle and just use the 3.5mm audio cable on the device of their choice. On the other hand, if so, you might not buy these headphones, right? To use all the features provided by this headset, you need to download and install the Razer Synapse software package.
After performing this operation, you will have access to EQ controls, THX surround sound, microphone settings, and more. We will see the complete controller soon, but for now, these are the steps required to set up the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition headset.
Unsurprisingly, the Kraken Tournament Edition headset retains the design cues of the Kraken family that we have seen in many iterations in the past. Although the Krakens still seem quite "gaming", they are not as annoying as other gaming headsets on the market today. With that said, I still won't be roaming around town wearing these anytime soon, they just aren't that versatile.
Kraken TE is equipped with two large, round closed ear muffs that can completely wrap your ears. The lining of the cheek pads is a combination of high-quality materials that provide superior comfort and durability. The outer side of the pads is made of artificial leather for easy modeling, while the inner area that directly touches the face is made of soft, breathable fabric. Memory foam is a protruding material used for the padding itself, with a cooling gel layer on top to ensure you don't sweat during fierce battles. The
headset is well made and offers a combination of durable materials including plastic and steel. There are several different color variations of the earbuds (one of which is neon green), but we'll review the all-black version in today's article. Although Razer hasn't over-designed the branding here, its logo is still cleverly printed on the ear cups and headband. Although the
ear muffs are made of plastic, there is a layer of steel mesh on the outside, which looks good and feels very strong. Like most current products, the headband has an adjustable mechanism that provides approximately 30mm of additional height for those who need it. The headband is made of artificial leather, with a large cushion underneath, and it is made of more breathable fabric. The
microphone is fully retractable and has a slim design, almost identical to other Kraken models. Although the headset itself is not connected to the volume control, you can perform an inline control on the cable for instant changes. In addition, the USB dongle provides many additional additional functions, which we will talk about soon.
Overall, from a design point of view, I have to say that this is one of the best Razer headphones. The quality of
manufacturing has been one aspect that has disappointed me with Razer products for many years. However, as far as the first impression is concerned, I think the Kraken Tournament Edition headphones may start to break this old trend. After unpacking the
, the first thing I noticed about this headset is its sturdiness. You can immediately see that this is a big step forward for your Kraken X headset. High-quality materials are used throughout, and the most vulnerable parts of the headset (headband, headset clip, etc.) are metal materials.
Speaking of headbands, this is often the failure area of many low-end and mid-end gaming headsets. However, for the Razer Kraken TE, the headband is my least worried about. The adjustable mechanism is definitely stiff, in a good way, which makes me think it might stand the test of time. The aluminum used in the headband has excellent durability and flexibility, and performed well in our comprehensive rigidity test. The
ear muffs are well made and I think they can withstand at least some excessive anger outlets. The steel mesh reinforces the already durable plastic to make a very strong end product. The least positive about
is that the liner on the ear muffs, I think it is not replaceable, may become an area of concern in the coming months. It feels a bit brittle and may start to peel off its shell. Also, by using this very flexible microphone, I found that they started to be used after about a year. Obviously we
The direction compared to other Razer products.
Comfort is an area where I think Razer has been outstanding in recent years. Once again, Kraken TE stands out with its extremely comfortable design, which can accommodate most head and ear sizes.
Let's start with the headset. Although the pads on the headphones did not score high in our build quality test, the pads provide good comfort. The cushion is not only soft and wear-free, it is also equipped with a cooling gel layer to physically reduce the temperature around the ears. In addition, the headset has a micro-rotation design function, allowing users to find the perfect sitting posture when using it.
Turn to the headband. Due to the aluminum design, the headband will not put too much weight on the neck or head, making the long game process more enjoyable. There is a thin layer of memory foam at the bottom of the headband for added comfort. It is worth mentioning that if the headset is heavier, this filler may not be enough. However, in this case, it provides sufficient comfort.
Although the headphones do exert some pressure around the ears, mainly to promote a better feeling of immersion, they are not overwhelming or obvious. Comparing this headphone to other headphones in the Kraken series, I must say that it offers a similar (if not slightly better) level of comfort to most headphones. So, decent work Razer.
Design aside, it's time to see how the Razer Kraken Championship Edition headphones perform in many different gaming and entertainment scenarios. The next part will look at the Razer Kraken from a sound and performance perspective to see if the sound signals, spatial perception, and overall quality meet the standards. Chapter
If This Is The Case, Dive Right Into This Matter!
As usual, we started the sound check portion of this article by testing out many different genres of music. I think starting with the music allows me to better understand what sound and range the headphones we reviewed can produce. With this in mind, I started with fast paced electronic music, then moved on to cooler music and ended with rap and country music.
The following test was performed using the flat EQ on the Razer Synapse and will refer to any adjustments made to the sound using the driver.
Let us start from the front. Right away, you can see that the sound profile will be a bit heavy. Bass is very prominent in every genre I've heard, and provides a good booming feature, especially when the bass booster on the dongle is turned on. However, from a musical point of view, this is the positive place. The
tweeter tends to sound on the tough side, and the improved sound sounds a bit too sharp when mixed. In addition, in most cases, the media does not seem to exist. Take electronic music as an example. You want to hear heavy bass and a thick synthesizer, with some solid midrange. When the bass is there, the midrange and treble do not work for me.
I tried to use the THX surround sound function, but as expected, the sound became very muddy and chaotic. When THX surround sound is activated during a music session, the clarity is almost completely separated from the headphones and the experience is almost no fun.
This is almost the sentiment of most musical genres. Razer has never been amazing at making music headphones, so when I heard the Kraken Tournament Edition, I wasn't surprised by its quality.
Having said that, from a gaming standpoint, I still have a bit of hope for this headset. While testing the headphones, I activated my favorite game title, CS: GO. This is a game that relies heavily on sound signals and spatial perception, and is the best time to try gaming headsets.
I first played a few deathmatches to feel the sound of gunfire and footsteps. To my surprise, they sound very accurate and easy to identify. The bass is very prominent again. However, the strong treble that sounds unattractive in the music becomes a reality during the game. Having a clear high frequency allows you to easily detect footsteps and shots. This was very important in my game that night. The sound of the AWP sun visor and flash bombs became more pronounced, giving me a higher sense of the surrounding environment.
I tested THX surround sound in the game, and unlike music, it actually provides some positive feedback. Now what I mean is that it can better judge where the enemy is coming from than not using it. However, if you want to immerse yourself in your gaming experience, this may not be the right choice. Everything becomes a bit dirty, and the clarity is severely affected. That is, if you want a better space hint, please apply it safely. Compared with other headphones of the same price,
, I have to say that the overall experience is a bit out of date. Although the sound is not too impressive for music, it is not overwhelming. You can easily sit down and listen to music with these headphones and enjoy a pleasant experience. However, if you place multiple headphones side by side and constantly compare the sound, you will begin to understand the source of criticism.
Like the latest Razer headset we reviewed (Razer Kraken X), the microphone on this headset is very basic, but it works well. It is a fully retractable microphone located in a small hole in the left ear cup. The microphone is very flexible and is installed in rubber.
This improves the sound quality a bit.
Speaking of which, I think the overall mic on this headset is pretty good. It sounds very clear and has a balanced sound in most cases. Although it lacks a bit in the bass section (as are most budget / mid-range headphones), it provides excellent clarity and sharpness throughout your game. The downside of the
is that it is very sensitive to ambient noise and breathing. On Discord, he particularly picked up my mechanical keyboard, which upset my teammates. Fortunately, you can access many different settings in the Razer Synapse software package, which can be used to adjust the microphone output.
Overall, I am very satisfied with the quality of the microphone. It may be simple, but it provides good versatility and clear sound performance.
When it comes to headphones that cost around $ 100, features play a big role in whether they are considered a success. Due to the manufacturer's limited budget, functionality is often one of the areas that is compromised for better build or sound quality.
With that said, Razer has successfully integrated a host of features into the Kraken Tournament Edition headphones.
Let's not waste time and delve into what I think is best.
Let's start with one of the biggest selling points of this headset: the USB controller.
In the past, we've tested some headphones that provide a controller (the most popular is Steelseries Arctis Pro + GameDAC), and it's an excellent feature in all likelihood.
Kraken TE provides a fairly advanced controller that allows users to switch and change settings on the fly. It is equipped with volume control, microphone mute button, bass control, THX surround sound switch button, and game / chat balance control; we will introduce most of them below.
We have introduced this feature in the performance section, but for those of you who don't know what this feature offers, THX surround sound will change the audio output and provide more accurate spatial cues for competitive games like CS: GO and PUBG.
Although this feature has been heavily criticized in the past, in this particular scene, I think surround sound can understand the enemy's whereabouts very well.
I don't recommend using it for general music or entertainment purposes, but if you need some additional voice prompts in-game, be sure to give this feature a try! The
Bass Control is easy to understand. On the controller, it has a smaller clicker that can boost or lower the bass. If you want to immerse yourself more in games or movies, click the available settings to increase the bass.
Want to identify steps more easily? Decrease backwards. A useful feature, although very simple.
Finally, we have control of the game / chat balance. This is a very convenient feature, I always use it when I play and use Discord. These controls allow you to change the balance between incoming chat and game volume to find the perfect balance between the two.
If your teammate's voice is too loud, simply change the balance until you find the level you want.
So there you have it, our full review of the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition gaming headset. At the end of this guide, we want to give our final thoughts on this headset as a whole. We compare it with similarly priced alternatives and conclude whether it is worth the money.
Currently, this headset is on the shelves at a price of about $100, immediately placing it in the very competitive price group. Sounds wise, it is difficult for me to recommend them to anyone who wants headsets for purposes other than gaming. For music at this price, there are better headphones.
But from a gaming point of view, I still like these headphones. Although THX surround sound isn't something everyone likes, it will definitely add a bit more awareness in competitive gaming.
You should also be aware that at this price you are entering the field of entry-level wireless headphones, many of which now offer great features and sound quality.
So, in the end, the bottom line is this. If you're already a huge Razer fan and want a comfortable headset that delivers good gaming sound signals, an excellent microphone, and excellent build quality, then this may be exactly what you're looking for. The
Razer Kraken Tournament Edition headset is a good headset that provides good spatial perception, good construction quality and comfortable wearing. However, it's a bit insufficient in the sound department, especially in music and entertainment settings.
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